On Friday at the Queensline Literature Festival, former actor now turned politician Jaya Prada, shared her experience of harassment in politics.
Reported on Deccan Chronicle, Prada who was in conversation with Ram Kamal, alleged that senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and Rampur MLA, Azam Khan had attempted an acid attack on her. “Because the state I was in, contesting elections with Azam Khan, as a woman, with acid attack threats, threat to my life… I couldn’t even tell my mother if I would come back alive whenever I left from home,” said Prada.
The ‘Sharaabi’ (1984) actress was once part of the Samajwadi Party, but was expelled due to starting the a Rashtriya Lok Manch along with fellow Uttar Pradesh politician Amar Singh.
Prada went on to add, “Even as a sitting MP from a party, I wasn’t spared. Azam Khan harassed me. He attempted an acid attack on me. I had no certainty if I would be alive the next day. I would tell mother while leaving the house that I wasn’t sure if I would ever return home. I emerged out of it.”
Prada has also faced negativity in the media for her relationship with Singh, who she has always valued as her god father. “So many people have helped me in my life and Amar Singh ji is my godfather.” However she added when her photo was morphed with Singh, which went viral on social media, at that point Prada shared how she wanted to commit suicide. “Amar Singh was on dialysis and my morphed pictures were being circulated in the region. I was crying and saying I don’t want to live anymore, I want to commit suicide. I was going through that trauma and no one supported me.”
She further added, “Only Amar Singh ji, who came out of his dialysis, stood next to me, supported me. What will you think of him? Godfather or someone else? Even if I tie rakhi to him, will people stop talking? I don’t care what people say.”
Prada said it was a “real war” for a woman to be a politician in “this male-dominated set-up.” She referred to the recent Kangna Ranaut film ‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi” as a story she could relate to, “Whatever they are showing in the film Manikarnika, I feel I was like that. A woman can also take the avatar of goddess Durga.”